'Don't cry because it's over': Twitter sued over Elon Musk's mass layoff plan as many employees logged out
Elon Musk is planning to terminate approximately 3,700 positions, or about half of Twitter's work force
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: According to a class-action lawsuit filed by former workers in a federal court in San Francisco, Twitter is being sued over Elon Musk's proposal to fire almost half of its staff. The suit says the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, a federal regulation requiring companies to give advance notice to employees affected by plant closings and mass layoffs, was allegedly violated by the company's purported practice of firing employees without giving adequate notice.
The lawsuit was first reported by Bloomberg.
The suit was brought on behalf of five Twitter employees so far, with one one saying they were fired on 1 November, and three claiming were not informed at the time of filing but had been locked out of their email accounts. The case cited sackings at Tesla, where the company sought to obtain full release from its obligations under the Warn Act by offering severance of one or two weeks’ pay instead. “Plaintiffs here are reasonably concerned that, absent court intervention, Twitter will engage in similar behaviour and seek releases from laid-off employees without informing them of their rights or the pendency of this case,” the filing stated.
Musk is planning to terminate approximately 3,700 positions, or about half of Twitter's work force, as part of his effort to reduce costs at the business that he just paid $44 billion for last week. According to the Daily Mail, in a memo distributed on Thursday night, November 2, the business advised employees to expect termination letters. It stated that every employee will be notified through email on Friday by 9 am PT as to whether they still have a position with the company.
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On Friday morning, November 3, Twitter had an outage as a number of users reported being unable to access the social media site on their devices. According to Down Detector, a website that monitors internet outages, Twitter problems started to appear early on Friday and were much worse about 2:30 am.
At the end of 2021, Twitter had approximately 7,500 employees worldwide. In order to "help safeguard the safety of each employee as well as Twitter systems and customer data," the firm announced that its offices will be temporarily shut off and that all staff badge access will be suspended.
Employees further said that they had been abruptly denied access to their email and other communication tools, such as Slack. They claimed that computers were remotely logged out of and had their data erased. “Looks like I'm unemployed y'all,” tweeted Simon Balmain, whose Twitter bio identified him as a former Senior Community Manager for the organization. Further adding, "Just got remotely logged out of my work laptop and removed from Slack. #OneTeam forever. Loved you all so much. So sad it had to end this way."
"Don't cry because it's over," wrote another staff by the name of Miryam. She penned the tweet with a photo of herself smiling in front of a huge blue Twitter bird that was hung on a wall in the workplace. Another employee, Karen Zapata, posted a photo of her locked-out laptop screen on social media. She wrote, "This gray screen could have been a meeting," implying that she was terribly dissatisfied with how impersonal the dismissal was.
Looks like I’m unemployed y’all. Just got remotely logged out of my work laptop and removed from Slack. #OneTeam forever. Loved you all so much.— Simon Balmain (@SBkcrn) November 4, 2022
So sad it had to end this way 💔